The ABC’s of Movement Literacy

The foundation of written communication is an alphabet; without it we would not be able to read, write, or communicate effectively.  Similarly, one needs to learn a different set of ABCs in order to gain movement literacy.  Often identified as Agility, Balance, and Coordination, these ABCs serve as the foundation of movement literacy.  Crucial to any athlete’s Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) is the ability to master the ABC’s of movement literacy.  Furthermore, focusing solely on the long-term goals, whether it’s 12 months or 12 years down the road, can prevent one from making short-term improvement.  By focusing on the present and creating a strong foundation of movement literacy, an athlete can insure that the path to LTAD is achievable.

We often use a similar approach in golf instruction.  As difficult as it may be, short-term struggles can lead to long-term improvements. In order to improve your distance, you may have to temporarily sacrifice your accuracy, or vice versa.  A golfer with a bad hook may have to first learn how to hit a slice to find the middle and start hitting it straight. As golfers, we may be capable of understanding why it is necessary to take a step or two back before making that desired leap forward.

When it comes to the field of strength and conditioning, especially for the game of golf, we tend to expect greater rewards in less time.  The best athletes in the world may possess an innate talent that allows them to succeed, but it still could take years and years of practice in order to reach the pinnacle of their sport.  Developing basic athleticism is no different; it requires tremendous daily effort to improve one’s power, speed, and explosiveness, as well as one’s mobility, flexibility, and endurance.   All of these goals are achievable with a core foundation to build upon, along with the best instruction and coaching to guide you.

Effectively, the ability to manage the ABC’s of movement literacy allow us to progress to more difficult and complex exercises which will have greater benefits in the long term.  If you happened to poke your head into KOHR Golf’s Junior Academy sessions over the past month, or anytime this season for that matter, you will likely have seen at least one or two juniors doing some sort of exercises with mini-resistance bands around their ankles or knees, performing seemingly simple exercises.  Although the majority of the exercises are just that – simple – they are necessary to build the strength needed to compete in golf at a higher level.

Of course it would be much more fun, to simply go straight to box jumps, medicine ball slams, or even some sort of Olympic powerlifting exercises (more on those in a future blog). However, I would be doing the athletes that I work with a disservice to ask them to do an exercise without the proper foundation on which to perform that movement.  Not only would they be risking the chance of injury, they would also likely use certain musculature that was never meant to be used for that specific movement.  While simple exercises may seem mundane, the ability to move with good form and posture must always trump the desire for speed and power.

How does this all pertain to my role as a golf-specific strength and conditioning trainer?  It would be pretty simple to put an athlete, of any age or ability, on an exercise plan that would improve some general cardiovascular health or basic strength.  However, the athletic development from this strategy would probably have little impact on one’s golf performance. The general personal trainer is great for getting clients into better shape, leading healthier lives, and motivating towards self-improvement.   My job as a golf-specific strength and conditioning professional is to analyze the client’s goals and objectives for both the gym and the course. I then design a program that  includes routines and exercises to promote growth and development for both short and long-term goals.

Client goals can vary widely.  A goal could be as simple as improving flexibility to allow for better torso rotation this season;  while an elite junior golfer’s goal may be to create a strategy for the next 18-24 months in order to be properly prepared for the rigors of competing at a Division I golf program.  My sole job is to help individuals, that come to the Performance Center at KOHR Golf, reach their goals both on and off the golf course.

If you are interested in learning about strategies to improve your golf fitness, we can set up an initial meeting to evaluate your personal goals and complete a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Screening.  This simple process could put you on the proper path to achieving all of your goals both on and off the course this season and beyond!!!

3 Reasons to keep your junior golfer a multisport athlete

CRUSHING drives traveling over 400 yards!  LASER-LIKE iron shots from 200+ yards away (longer than the length of 2 football fields) to within inches of the flagstick!  High soft flop shots over bunkers that roll into the hole like putts!  How is this possible.  Golfers like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland look more like NFL linebackers than that of a golfer.  

The highlights could go on and on!  

So after being a multi-sport athlete myself, and learning much through my certifications at the Titleist Performance Institute, here are 3 critically important skills your child will learn through being a multi-sports athlete:


BALANCE

  • In just about every sport you are taught to feel and use the ground.  Sports like ice hockey with its quick turns on a skate blade, soccer with its stops & starts are priceless.  One cannot play these sports without great awareness of the ground forces and how your feet and body have to move to stay on your feet, and not tumble to the ground.  Check out this cool video of PGA Tour Winner Rocco Mediate on how he practices his golf swing with NO SHOES!  This may be difficult at first but I can assure you that this would be a GREAT drill for all to try out!

 

 

SPEED & POWER

  • Pretty self-explanatory how important speed and power are in all sports.  Recently I was lucky enough to sit in on a presentation by Florida Gators head golf coach, J.C. Deacon who said that he doesn’t pay to much attention to high school golfers that have less than 170mph ball speed.  He wants players that can POUND the ball!  Why you ask?  Well, the answer is simple – the further you can hit the ball the less club you will have into the green and the closer you will probably hit the ball to the hole, and make more birdies!  Do note that his team currently ranks inside the TOP 5 in college golf so pretty obvious he knows what he is doing when it comes to recruiting top-notch players!  Sports like tennis, baseball, squash are tremendous sports that will help your future golfer develop a powerful golf swing.


SEQUENCE & RHYTHM

  • The next time you watch a basketball game on TV, keep your eye on the shooter instead of the ball.  Watch one of these athletes throw up a 3 pointer and witness what perfect sequence & Rhythm look like.  These guys make it look absolutely effortless!  The shooter is initiating his or her power from the ground and from there it is literally a chain of events through the body that takes place, almost like the effortless power of a wave rolling in the ocean.  The scientific term for this is the Kinematic Sequence, which as TPI explains for a golfer in that “Each body segment; pelvis, ribcage, and arm sequentially accelerates and decelerates before impact, starting from the inner large body segments; the pelvis and ribcage, then progressing to the smaller outer segments; the arms, hands and club.  Each successive segment peaks faster and later than the previous segment.  This action causes the club to accelerate rapidly and reach its highest speed at impact.”  This movement is very similar in Stephen Curry throwing up a jump shot (check out his sequence below).  This kinematic sequence gives the athlete the effortlessness we see in top athletes, and it is learned perfectly through a sport like basketball!

Well hopefully after reading through my article I was able to convince you that it is really important to get your child into multiple different types of sports when they are young.  If other sports isn’t an option look for sports programs or athletic development programs for your kids.  At KOHR Academy athletic training is a key part of our year-long curriculum.  Our Athletic Performance Coach, Andrew Wester, tests our Academy players progress throughout the year to make sure they are progressing in their athletic development.  It’s pretty awesome to see the progress for these young athletes in development!

Feel free to check out the links below.  Those are two really helpful websites that I am sure you will find to be great resources!

by Coach Spencer Sotell

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KOHR GOLF PERFORMANCE TRAINING

KOHR Golf’s new Athletic Performance Coach, Andrew Wester will be in our fitness center during open hours from 10 AM to 4 PM.  Feel free to stop by and say hi, go through a brief TPI Evaluation, and learn more about what Andrew will be bringing to KOHR Golf in 2018!

Andrew Wester, KOHR’s Athletic Performance Coach, will be starting Pre-Season Golf Strength & Conditioning classes for adults of all ages and abilities.  Classes will be held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday morning at 6:30 am and 7:30 am, as well as Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm, as well as Sunday afternoon at 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm.  Classes will be approximately 50 minutes, and will cover basic stretching and warm-up routines, as well as some basic strength and power exercises to help develop swing speed and prepare golfers for the coming season.  Classes will run through until the middle of March, please feel free to sign up online or contact Andrew with any questions!

Andrew’s Fitness Packages are listed – HERE

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COACH DANIEL BOISVERT RECOGNIZED BY US KIDS GOLF

Since 2004, the Top 50 Kids Teacher Award has honored the elite professionals who have dedicated their careers to developing junior golf in their communities and who are known for their overall excellence and commitment to serving youth. These experienced individuals have committed themselves to helping kids develop a love for the game of golf that lasts well beyond their junior days. Finding the ideal instructor is an important process to parents of junior golfers. U.S. Kids Golf is proud to associate itself with these distinguished professionals and enthusiastically recommends them to all young golfers.  This is Coach Daniel’s 3rd consecutive year being recognized by US Kids Golf for this award!

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7 IMPORTANT STEPS TO PLAYING COLLEGE GOLF

About 15 years ago, I was a competitive junior golfer with aspirations of playing collegiate golf. I had won some junior tournaments, possessed a strong work ethic, and had no doubt in my own mind that I had what it took to compete at the next level. I was also lucky to have parents who were always supportive but never overbearing. My grades and test scores were solid. I was ready (or so I thought). Why weren’t coaches knocking down my door to recruit me? What more could I possibly need to get recruited?

Boy, was I naïve! Little did I know how different college golf recruitment REALLY was.

After taking a gap year to work tirelessly on my game under the tutelage of Bill McInerney, I committed to play at Johnson & Wales in North Miami, Florida under the legendary coach Dave Adamonis, Sr.

He was an old school kind of coach. He was tough but fair, and he knew how to push buttons at just the right time to get the most out of his players. I spent 4 great years playing college golf, getting my degree, and learning a lot about college golf.

Since my graduation from Johnson & Wales, I have spent time as a professional golfer, Head College Golf Coach, and now I am a Golf Performance Coach at KOHR Golf Academy. I have often thought about where I would have ended up, had I known everything that I know now. Fortunately, I don’t think I could have found a better school, for myself, to learn as a student-athlete.

My experiences as a junior player being recruited, as well as college coach looking to add quality student-athletes to a successful program has taught me about the entire process from both sides of the table. Choosing the right college is very important but it is also a daunting experience.  Just like the game of golf, having a game plan is critical to getting started on the right track.

HERE ARE 7 IMPORTANT STEPS TO PLAYING COLLEGE GOLF:

Step 1: STOP STRESSING!


Step 2: Work hard in school.
“How are your grades?”   Without fail, this will be one of the first questions asked by any college coach. Yes, tournament scoring average is important, but coaches won’t waste their time talking to you if your grades aren’t up to par. In order to compete at the next level, you’ll need to take care of business in the classroom first. Being a student-athlete at the next level is a huge responsibility, and in my opinion, any coach worth playing for will hold this as their top priority.


Step 3: Surround yourself with a positive supporting cast
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Golf instructors/coaches, fitness coaches, mentors are all irreplaceable. Parents, don’t worry, you play an important part as well!


Step 4: Build an organized game plan
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Sit down with your supporting cast to map out efficient practice plans, workout routines, and develop a thoughtful tournament schedule. Play in local events, compete on regional golf tours and mix in a few at the national level. Not every event on your schedule needs to the most expensive or a big-time national event. Compete in as many events as you can and start developing that tournament resume!

Step 5: Play with better players.
One of the best pieces of advice I received before going off to college was to seek out the best players and emulate their approach. Observe how they practice.  Ask questions.  Annoy them. Play with them.


Step 6: Manage your expectations.
Set attainable goals. Make mistakes, but learn from every one of them. You’re not going to win every tournament you play, you’re not even going to play great in every tournament.  Ultimately, your ability to respond to setbacks will determine your success.


Step 7: Have fun.

Golf is not a job; it’s just a game!!! It is disappointing when you see players and parents treating it like a job. If you are willing to work as hard as you can and have fun with what you’re doing, everything else will take care of itself.

 

Stay tuned for my next blog. In a few weeks, I will address even more steps to becoming a successful collegiate golfer.

 

by Coach Chris Hawley

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How far would an extra 20 yards take your game?

I have been a club fitter for nearly 10 years now.  It amazes me how far technology has come in that time; every single year I learn more and more about the technology behind fitting golf clubs to certain swing types.  Every golfer is different and purchasing a set of clubs off the shelf, or from a buddy, will definitely save you some money but it will most likely cost you strokes too.

Would it excite you to know that being properly fit for clubs could add 20 yards of distance to your drives, with the exact same swing you have right now?  Well, believe me when I tell you it can!  How far would an extra 20 yards take your game?  How much easier would it be to hit a 7-iron into a green instead of a hybrid?

There is NO DOUBT in my mind that any golfer that chooses to invest time, or money, in their golf game should be professionally fit. There are tremendous benefits to having the proper shaft with the correct stiffness, length, and weight – as well as the correct club head, loft/lie angle, and grip. A professional club fitting could go a long way towards eliminating that 60-yard slice and help you keep the ball in play way more often!  Now wouldn’t that make your weekend money matches a bit more enjoyable?

As a golf performance coach and fitter, I constantly try to emphasize the benefits of having properly fit clubs.  With the correct clubs, a player WILL see immediate improvements in distance, trajectory, dispersion, and overall consistency.

Another HUGE benefit to being professionally fit is that it ensures that your club specs are are accurate, and that each club goes the distance it should go. Believe it or not, iron lofts tend to change over time.  You may have a sand wedge that was 56º when you took it out of the box a few years back, but the more you use it the more it has a tendency to bend slightly or in some situations it could be several degrees.  But let’s say that sand wedge of yours did bend 3º – that’s almost a full club difference. In that case , you might as well have hit your gap wedge – which probably changed too… ugh!  See where I am going with this?

At KOHR Golf Center we offer a variety of club fitting options for both junior and adult golfers.

For junior golfers, we highly recommend suiting your Junior Golfer up with a set of US Kids Clubs. US Kids clubs are absolutely the best clubs I have come across.  Super easy fitting system and the best quality out there for beginners and younger competitive juniors golfers.  A quick easy static measurement will do the job.  Check out the US Kids Golf Club fitting chart on the right.  Like I said, super easy!

For adults and advanced junior players, we have a partnership with Cool Clubs – in my professional opinion also the best in the biz!  Cool Clubs operates out of our brand new golf studio and is available for custom fittings 6 days a week ALL YEAR LONG. The Cool Clubs headquarters is based out of Scottsdale, Arizona and they often get visits from PGA and LPGA Tour Players, the best players in the world!

Glen Sutton, the owner of Cool Clubs Boston, says “The combination of the Cool Club approach to fitting and KOHR Golf’s new facility will provide customers with one of the best club-fitting experiences in the entire country.  Our technology combined with the ability to see ball flight at KOHR makes for a truly unique experience.”

So in closing, I cannot stress enough how important an annual checkup can be.  Seeing a local club fitter is a huge component to lowering your scores and enjoying the game more.  Changes made to your swing or to your body make it almost a necessity.  If you grow, if your posture at address changes, or if you make any improvements to your swing, then an equipment change should be considered. A quick tweak to the loft and lie of your irons, or even swapping out your shafts to improve launch conditions could be HUGE!

Be sure to put a club fitting on your to-do’s this year and you will NOT regret it!

by Coach Daniel Boisvert

 

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The Greatest Golf Lesson I Ever Took

I was lucky enough to be mentored by, one of the greatest golf instructor of all time, PGA of America Hall of Famer Bob Toski.

So the story goes like this:

Super hot, but breezy spring day down at the Toski-Battersby Driving Range in Coconut Creek Florida. The year was 1995.

I was a young struggling college golfer. Growing up, I had the opportunity to take lessons from Bob since my father had taken lessons with him when he was a professional golfer.   I had not seen Bob in a couple years since I moved back to Boston. I pulled into the dusty lot, parked my car, and remember sitting in my car for a few minutes thinking about how much work I needed to do on my game. At the time, I remember feeling like I was months away from hitting it well. Forget about hitting it straight! I was more interested in keeping the ball on the planet. In those days I had a tendency to exaggerate ha!

Anyhow, I grudgingly pulled my bag out of my broken down 1985 Volvo and proceeded to walk towards the back of the driving range, where Mr. Toski gave the majority of his lessons. I decided to get there about an hour before I was supposed to start my session but I got about halfway back when I heard a golf cart driving up behind me. “Mr. McInerney!”  I turn my head and see that it was Bob. He must have seen me hanging my head and decided to get right at it. Bob would NEVER hesitate to give a student WAY more than you could expect from an incredibly busy coach. “Where have you been?” Bob asks me. “I’ve just been grinding away trying to figure this game out Mr. Toski.” Bob then said “Well, let’s go figure it out,” in a very confident and excited tone, “Let’s get it done!”

So, right off the bat, I already started feeling better. As great coaches do, Bob has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time.

As we were heading out to the back of the range, Bob and I went over the specifics of what I had been working on in my golf swing, what my miss was (where the ball was going when I hit it poorly), and what I thought might be going on to create that miss. I was hitting a massive slice at the time and for a player that was trying to take his game into a competitive arena, this was not a super good shot to have in the bag.

We spent a few more minutes sitting in the cart at the back of the range while I was finishing telling Bob my sob story. Bob then got out of the cart, even as I continued to rant about my life, he pulled out a 5-iron, and started ripping low bullet hooks. He then hits a few low stinger slices around one of the old tilted palm trees growing back there. He hits another hook, this time it was a towering one over a different palm tree. Then he hit a huge high slice around the same tree. He continues to mix up his shots, low right to left, high left to right, high right to left and so on. All the shots looked effortlessly struck with perfect divots. He hit all of these shots while asking me random questions about how my family was doing and talking to me about his cats.

After about a dozen shots or so, I finally caught on to what was going on here. Bob was giving me my goal for the day without saying a single word. Before I could finish laughing about how one of his cats was starting to really piss him off, Bob drops his brand spanking new 5-iron (which had the name Ryobi-Toski written on the back, his club brand, how cool is that?), and RUNS to the back of the golf cart.

The range I practiced at with Mr. Toski

He pulls a huge bushel of old beat-up Top Flight range balls from the back of the cart, dumps it out about 30 yards short of one of the palm trees he was firing balls under, over, and around, and starts kicking them all over the place. He then picks up one ball from the pile and guns it right at me. Luckily, I snag it before it knocked out the only real front tooth I had left (I lost the other one from my hockey days). He picks up another one and lobs it way up high in the air; I catch that one as well. He then says, “I’m done here, going to head back in and get some work done in my office.” Of course, I was a little caught off guard considering I had just flown down from Boston to see him for the day. He then hops in his cart and starts driving off before he turns around and says “I want you to aim at that red pin out there, and don’t move a single ball, play them all where they lie.” HE finished by saying, “Oh, and if you hit the tree, make sure you duck!” The tree was literally in the line of flight of every single golf ball I was about to hit.

Ok, so at this point, I’m sure you understand what Mr. Toski’s intention was. Needless to say, I hit the entire bushel of golf balls and I hit every shot towards the red flag I was ordered to take aim at. Nearly every single shot I had hit was either a hook or a slice to avoid the tree. I hit some low and some high. After a few hours, and about 300 shots, I actually left that range hitting the ball better than I ever had in my life.   To that point, Mr. Toski didn’t give me a single piece of swing advice. Mr. Toski’s message to me was to be an athlete, be an artist, don’t think, just react. Hit golf shots and don’t think about making golf swings. The club face with an iron is flat and the ball is round.  In racket sports like ping pong, tennis, or racket ball, I knew how to work a ball. I knew how to spin a tennis ball, I could hit it high or hit it low- without even thinking!

WOW! I cannot tell you how lucky I was to have a coach like Mr. Toski. Even though I had an intense desire to learn everything I could about the golf swing as a coach, this was a lesson that I never forgot. It changed the way I thought about the game forever. Unknowingly, it helped me develop into a multi-dimensional coach. He helped me understand how to make learning fun and golf even more fun.  Mr. Toski also taught me how to think outside the box and problem solve.

To say I am grateful for Mr. Bob Toski in my life would be an understatement. His lessons are those that you never forget and he is a person that you NEVER forget. Every message he offers is delivered in a unique way. Every day that I coach, I remember one of Mr. Toski’s lessons and I try to pass on his wisdom.

Thank you Bob Toski!

 

Some of Mr. Toski’s books:

 

by Coach Bill McInerney

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Coach Bill Recognized as Top 25 Elite Junior Golf Coach in USA

The FCG Top 25 Elite Junior Golf Coach Award started in 2015 recognizes coaches who specialize in competitive players ages 13-18. Their players compete at the highest levels of junior golf and regularly develop into college golfers.  This is the 3rd year Future Golf recognizes these top coaches for their efforts and is the second consecutive  year Coach Bill McInerney has been awarded this honor.

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Practice Smarter Not Longer This New Year!

Super pumped to kick off this part of our blog and share with you our first can’t miss tip.  Let’s get right to it!

This week’s hot tip – DELIBERATE PRACTICE

WHAT IS IT & WHY WE NEED IT

Wikipedia defines deliberate practice as repetitive performance of intended cognitive or psychomotor skills.  Rigorous skills assessment, specific information feedback, better skills and performance.

To dumb it down a bit I would think of deliberate practice as picking something very specific to improve on –  then figuring out what the one or two things that you would need to work on in order to improve that particular skill.

Lets take a look at a real-life example:

Joey has a very good golf swing and a very low green in regulation percentage (GiR).  He spends hours upon hours working on the mechanics of his golf swing but his GiR doesn’t budge.  Joey’s coach is stumped so he decides to go watch Joey play a round of golf.  Coach is happy to see that Joey’s shots are very solid but he is either coming up short or flying shots over the green.

After recognizing Joey’s tendencies his coach builds a deliberate practice session for Joey that looks like this:

STEP 1

Using a launch monitor to measuring the average distance Joey hit 10 shots with each golf club.  The goal here is to calibrate the average carry distance of each club.  It is also helpful for Joey to know how far the shortest shot and furthest shot with a particular club is for him.  At KOHR Golf Center we use a tool called Trackman to measure the distance the ball carries.  For those that do not have the luxury of using a trackman KOHR Golf Center has yardage cards for all of our greens which makes calibrating possible.

STEP 2

After calibration we recommend challenging yourself with a game.  We call this game-like type practice, Battlefield Practice at KOHR Academy.  Battlefield Practice (otherwise known as random practice) is when you are in your game-like mindset and trying to achieve a certain score.  Joey pulls out 18 golf balls and sets them aside (we use 18 shots to pretend like you are playing 18 holes).  He is then assigned a different target for each of those 18 golf balls – hitting 6 shots with his short-irons, 6 shots with his mid-irons and 6 shots with his long-irons and hybrids.  His goal is to see how many greens in regulation he would hit with those 18 golf balls.  At KOHR Golf Center a game like this is easy because we actually have real greens to hit to, making practice SUPER FUN!

Check out Phil Mickelson talking about one of his key battlefield games, which he calls the 3 Foot Circle Drill, to where he has to make 100 three foot putts in a row… YIKES!

 

Below I have listed some awesome books and articles that talk about the importance and research behind deliberate practice.  Enjoy and keep us updated on your progress.  We would love for you to share some of the ways you structure deliberate practice sessions or some of the challenges you all may have in achieving a deliberate practice session.

Either way, make DELIBERATE PRACTICE your goal for 2018 and you will not be disappointed.

BOOKS

  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • In summary Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success.
  • The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner
    • Sterner’s message is to be process oriented, be present and have a very specific intention and stay ware of your intention.
  • The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin
    • I love this book!  Josh Waitzkin writes a book on his personal rise to the top of the chess and Tai Chi world, by explaining the mindset, proper ways to practice and how he built habits to take him to the top of the world in his professions.

ARTICLES & BLOGS

PODCASTS

 

By KOHR Golf Coach Bill McInerney

Happy New Year from KOHR Golf Center

Hey there everybody…

2017 was such an awesome year for KOHR Golf.  Towards the end of the year we completed one of the most unique PUBLIC Golf Driving Ranges and Practice Centers in the country. When planning out this facility we LITERALLY considered every component of the game, which has always been KOHR Golf’s ultimate goal.

Our team designed a facility that offers the TOTAL beginner a relaxed and enjoyable place to take up the game , areas of focus that allows the advanced players an opportunity to hone every single aspect of their game, and even just an awesome place to hang out with your family and friends.

This coming year we will also bring you some exciting new things. One being our new blog where we will share awesome practice tips, golf fitness tips, the latest and greatest golf training tools, equipment ideas and other cool things.

We have An Incredible team that will deliver this information to you.

Anyhow… you have to come check us out at KOHR Golf center. Bring a friend, bring the family, bring a date – you won’t be disappointed.  We can’t wait to see you and we wish you all a happy new year… 2018 is going to be AMAZING!!!